Back in Red

Just when we thought he was out, they pull him back in.  The Cardinals resigned Aaron Miles to a $1.4 million contract.

What exactly does Miles bring to the table to warrant that kind of money?  I mean, I know that’s not a lot for a baseball team to spend on a player, but shouldn’t they get some bang for their buck?

According to the always-impeccable VEB, Miles brings….well, nothing really.  Except the knowledge that TLR is still calling the shots.

Look, I’ve been a fan of LaRussa’s since he was wearing the green and gold of Oakland, even before his “mastermind” turn in George Will’s Men at Work.  But his obsession with scrappy veterans is going to be the death of a lot of Cardinal fans.

There’s probably nothing that Miles will do this year that Jarrett Hoffpauier couldn’t do.  The difference, at best, would be minuscule in favor of Miles.  So why spend an extra million to bring him back?  There was a reason you non-tendered him.

I’m glad that Larry was able to get sources to show that TLR was behind this move, otherwise we’d have to have another round of questioning Mozeliak.   The ownership of the Cardinals has an unhealthy fascination with Tony, I believe.  The logical thing to have done this offseason was to shake things up completely and let TLR walk if he wanted.  Instead, not only did ownership not do that, they didn’t wait to hire a GM before hiring him back on.  Which told us that no matter who got the GM job, TLR was going to have more influence on the comings and goings than a normal manager.

I hate to be critical of TLR or ownership, but this really is nonsensical, especially after freeing up roughly $6 million in the Edmonds trade.  You spend over 15% of that savings on a guy with 19 extra-base hits last year?  When you have someone you can play for the bare minimum in a year that’s already looked at as a rebuilding and regrouping year?  It just doesn’t make sense.

New Cardinals, Former Cardinals

The Cardinals made a minor move yesterday, signing D’Angelo Jimenez to a minor league contract.  There are a couple of things that come to mind when I hear about Jimenez.  One is that, when they were coming up in the Yankee organization about a decade ago, observers were split on whether he or Alfonso Soriano would be the better player.  That comparison doesn’t happen much anymore.  And, secondly, I remember he had a pretty solid year for the Reds a few years back.  Looking through that PD article, they note it was 2004, with a .270/12/67 season.  Boy, if the Cardinals got anything close to that, they’d be thrilled.

His signing, however, is just one of those insurance things.  If Jarrett Hoffpauir needs more time at Memphis, then Jimenez could be the backup guy on the bench.  You figure that Brendan Ryan and Adam Kennedy will be the usual starters in the middle infield, but Cesar Izturis and Jimenez could be the backups.  Jimenez can play third base as well, which ups his value.

Then we have our former backup catcher, Gary Bennett.   Not as bad of a week as you’d expect for someone named in the Mitchell report.  Bennett admitted he used HGH, then signed a new contract with the Dodgers.  Which is surprising, because Bennett isn’t that great with extra help, but anyway.  It just goes to show me that the culture of baseball hasn’t done much changing with these allegations and admissions.  You aren’t going to be punished.  You aren’t going to have that much of a stain on your reputation, especially if you come out and admit it.  I mean, how much focus on Andy Pettitte has there been versus Roger Clemens?

There’s the big focus on Bonds and Clemens, but other than that, the steroid stuff is going to just go away, I think.  Hopefully the testing and the mindset has been changed enough that it won’t happen again, but without serious punishments for those that did it, I wonder if that’s the case.

Site note: I plan to use WordPress’s new option for tags to take former Cardinals out of the categories section.  So in case you start looking, now you know.